"Everyone deserves to travel" - Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane addressed a crowd at the Drakensberg Sun on Friday, 23 August 2019 ahead of World Tourism Month 2019 and World Tourism Day on 27 September.
"As we launch our Tourism Month campaign which is in September to coincide with the World Tourism Day - hosted annually in the same month on the 27th, let me begin with a quote by American Author Pat Conroy who said: 'once you have travelled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers. The mind can never break off from the journey,' said Kubayi-Ngubane.
Focusing on local travel in particular, the Minister spoke passionately about encouraging South Africans to explore their own, beautiful country "because we understand that our historical past made it impossible for a majority of South Africans to travel and thus even today that historical reality still shows".
From January to April 2019, we saw exceptional growth on the domestic tourism front when compared to the same period last year, said the Minister. Domestic holiday trips upped by 59,7% – highlighting the tremendous impact of the Sho’t Left Travel Week campaign with South Africans redeeming their deals and enjoying their country.
The theme for this year’s World Tourism Day is 'Tourism and jobs – a better future for all', which highlights the tourism sector’s vast capability to create jobs and therefore reduce the country’s unemployment rate. "We remain confident that tourism will contribute to our country turning to positive economic growth desired by our government and also contribute to more jobs to its maximum potential," said Kubayi-Ngubane.
One of the concerns often raised about travelling is the affordability aspect. In that vein, South African Tourism is launching #TravelWeekSA, which will run between 23-29 September and is dedicated to promoting local tourism by offering South Africans travel discounts.
The Sho’t Left Travel Week will present great travel deals, with airlines, hotel groups, tour operators and tourist attractions offering discounts of up to 50%. These deals must be bought during this week but can be redeemed at any other time depending on the partner’s terms and conditions. This presents an opportunity for South Africans to tour and experience their own country. The campaign also gives potential trade partners the opportunity to upload discounted deals and packages on the Sho’t Left Travel Week.
NOTE: Earlier this month it was also announced that the 14th annual SA National Parks Week will take place from 8 to 15 September 2019, which grants free access to most of the 21 national parks for day visitor. And best of all it includes weekend access during this time!